Met Office weather warning: thunderstorm alert explained and affected areas - including Birmingham and Cardiff

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While flood warnings have been lifted, new weather warnings have been issued across southwest England and Wales

After parts of the UK were hit with rain, thunder and lightning overnight, the Met Office has issued a fresh yellow weather warning for thunderstorms in southwest England and Wales, starting at 2pm today.

The Met Office has warned that, while some places might only see a small amount of rainfall, or none at all, other locations could see “ torrential rain with 20-30 mm falling in one hour and 50-80 mm in 3 hours”.

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Additional hazards that can accompany thunderstorms also include frequent lightning, hail and gusty winds.

What weather warnings are in place?

For Monday 5 and Tuesday 6 September, the Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for thunderstorms across parts of southwest England and Wales, including Birmingham, Stoke-on-Trent, Gloucester, Exeter, Plymouth, Cardiff and Swansea.

The Met Office says that thunderstorms are “likely to develop” during Monday afternoon and “become more organised through the evening”.

A car negotiates a flooded section of road, as torrential rain and thunderstorms hit the country on August 17, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)A car negotiates a flooded section of road, as torrential rain and thunderstorms hit the country on August 17, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
A car negotiates a flooded section of road, as torrential rain and thunderstorms hit the country on August 17, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images) | Getty Images

It says that thunderstorms are expected to move north during the early hours of Tuesday, and gradually weaken as they clear into northern England before dawn.

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“Whilst some places will see little or no rainfall, a few locations may see torrential rain with 20-30 mm falling in one hour and 50-80 mm in three hours,” the Met Office says.

The Met Office says to expect:

  • Driving conditions are likely to be affected by spray, standing water, hail and gusty winds, leading to longer journey times by car and bus
  • Some flooding of a few homes and businesses likely, leading to some damage to buildings or structures
  • Delays to some train services are likely
  • Probably some damage to a few buildings and structures from either lightning strikes or gusty winds
  • Some short term loss of power and other services is likely

The full list of regions under the warning from the Met Office:

East Midlands:

  • Derbyshire
  • Leicestershire

London & South East England:

  • Hampshire
  • Oxfordshire

North West England:

  • Cheshire East
  • Cheshire West and Chester
Lightning strikes in Birmingham, 2005, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images)Lightning strikes in Birmingham, 2005, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images)
Lightning strikes in Birmingham, 2005, United Kingdom. (Photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images) | Getty Images

South West England:

  • Bath and North East Somerset
  • Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole
  • Bristol
  • Devon
  • Dorset
  • Gloucestershire
  • North Somerset
  • Plymouth
  • Somerset
  • South Gloucestershire
  • Swindon
  • Torbay
  • Wiltshire

Wales:

  • Blaenau Gwent
  • Bridgend
  • Caerphilly
  • Cardiff
  • Carmarthenshire
  • Denbighshire
  • Flintshire
  • Merthyr Tydfil
  • Monmouthshire
  • Neath Port Talbot
  • Newport
  • Powys
  • Rhondda Cynon Taf
  • Swansea
  • Torfaen
  • Vale of Glamorgan
  • Wrexham

West Midlands:

  • Herefordshire
  • Shropshire
  • Staffordshire
  • Stoke-on-Trent
  • Telford and Wrekin
  • Warwickshire
  • West Midlands Conurbation
  • Worcestershire

How do I stay safe during thunder and lightning?

There are a number of steps you can take to protect yourself during thunder and lightning.

Some tips that the Met Office suggests includes:

  • Avoid using the landline, unless in an emergency, as telephone lines can conduct energy 
  • Avoid water and find a low lying open place if you’re outside that is a safe distance from trees, poles or metal objects 
  • Avoid activities such as golf, rod fishing or boating in a lake
  • Be aware of metal objects that can conduct or attract lightning, like golf clubs, umbrellas, bikes, wheelchairs, wire fencing and rails 
  • If you’re in an exposed location, it may be advisable to squat close to the ground, with hands on knees and head tucked between them - try to touch the ground as little as possible, and do not lie down. If you feel your hair stand on end, adopt this position immediately 

Are there flood alerts?

As it stands, all of the flood alerts have been removed from the flood alerts and warnings section of the Government website.

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The flood warnings that have been removed as of 5 September are:

  • Loughborough urban watercourses and local tributaries to the River Soar
  • Lower Dove Brooks in Staffordshire
  • River Cole and Dorcan Brook
  • River Maun in Nottinghamshire
  • River Plym and Tory Brook 

The site states: “Local flooding is possible from surface water across parts of central and south-west England and possible but not expected more widely across England on Sunday through to Tuesday.

“Land, roads and some properties may flood and there may be travel disruption.”

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